“My sun sets to rise again.”– Robert Browning
Working as a full-time classroom teacher, which is far from an eight-hour day, and being a mother of two young children, also a full-time job, the only time I can fit running into my schedule is in the morning. This takes a fair bit of planning, but once you get used to it, it becomes routine. Once it becomes routine, you won’t try to talk yourself out of it as much. Here are some tips that have helped me get out each morning.
1. Go to bed early
This might seem obvious, but I made this mistake a lot when I first started running in the morning. I would try to stay up as late as I had when my runs were taking place in the afternoon, and it just didn’t work. I would be too tired to get myself out of bed, or if I did manage to get myself out and going, I was terribly exhausted the rest of the day. For me, I have to go to bed by 8:30 or 9:00 pm on work nights, so I can wake up by 5:00 am.
2. Check the weather report
If you don’t already, get a weather app on your phone. Check it before going to bed so you know what to expect for your early morning run. There is nothing like waking up to a downpour you weren’t prepared for to you to make you want to turn around and go back to bed.
3. Set out your clothes
After checking the weather, set out the appropriate clothes the night before. Have them sitting next to your bed and be ready to get dressed. I have heard of some people even sleeping in them, but I cannot imagine sleeping in all that spandex. Not for me.
4. Have everything charged
Make sure your GPS watch and phone are charged for the morning, so you are ready to go without excuses.
5. Set the alarm
This one might seem obvious too, but I would struggle with this. Sometimes I would forget to set it. Now, I have my alarm set so that it automatically goes off Tuesday-Friday for 5 am (Monday is my day off) and I don’t have to set it every night. It is a handy feature and one less thing to think about.
6. Get dressed ASAP
Get dressed as soon as the alarm goes off. Don’t think about it, just get dressed. Once you have gone to all the work of getting dressed, you will feel obligated to run. If you wait, it will definitely lessen the chance of getting out the door.
You should have prepared this the night before so all you need to do is hit a button. The coffee should be in the French press ready to have hot water poured over it. No messing around with the coffee. This is serious. I absolutely must have coffee before I run and won’t jeopardize this by not having it ready to go.
Sitting down, sipping my coffee, catching up on some morning news or reading my book for a minute before I head out helps me wake up a little. I take about 20-30 minutes before running, enjoying my time and knowing I will be energized for my run.
8. Think about how you will feel if you DON’T run
On days when I struggle with running in the morning, I remind myself of what I feel like when I don’t run. I don’t want to feel like that all day and it is usually all the motivation I need. Even if it is raining, snowing, dark, or cold, it is better to run in that and feel good about my day, then to not and feel miserable for the rest of it.
9. Enjoy the quiet
You are getting that time to yourself. Enjoy it. Most of us are surrounded by others all the time and we need that time in our own heads, doing something for ourselves. Take it. Enjoy the peace. There is a lot to be learned in the early hours.
10. Feel like a badass
You will feel like a badass for the rest of the day. Before most people have woken up, you have run (taken on the world), considered important life moments and decisions, taken care of your body, and have enough energy to get your day done right. That makes you a badass.
Stay rad and keep running, my friends.